The Sacred Heart of USD

On a brisk winter afternoon in December 1949, local dignitaries joined Bishop Charles Francis Buddy and Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill for a groundbreaking ceremony atop a wind-swept mesa overlooking the burgeoning San Diego cityscape.

Mother Hill had a special reason for wanting the campus, which would come to be known as Alcalá Park, to be unrivaled in its exquisite beauty and intricate design.

“There are three things that are significant in education: beauty, goodness and truth,” she said. Mother Hill believed that beauty would attract people on sight, and that students would find goodness when they interacted with faculty and staff, who would them lead them to the truth, which is the true purpose of the university.

The Society of the Sacred Heart concurred with Mother Hill’s sentiments, and agreed that she take a $4 million loan to begin construction of the San Diego College for Women.

This year, Sister Virginia Rodee ’57 (BA), ’74 (MA), the much-beloved assistant vice-president for Mission and Ministry, who came to USD as a teenager, will retire. Following are links to some of the history that was gathered in the course of doing research for the Summer 2017 USD Magazine story, “Sisterhood Rules.” Each adds a layer to the tale of the profound impact that the Religious of the Sacred Heart had, and continues to have, on the University of San Diego and the wider world.


We invite you to add to the story. Share your experiences as a student of the College for Women and your memories of the Religious of the Sacred Heart,
and help us to expand this repository of history.


STORIES FROM READERS

PHOTOS

VIDEOS

VARIOUS

ARTICLES

INTERVIEWS


STORIES FROM READERS

Father Francis Lowe ’81 reflects on the impact that Sister Sarre had on his life.


PHOTOS

View a gallery of photos from over the years.

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VIDEOS

Sister Virginia Rodee leads a tour of Founders Chapel.

Sister Virginia Rodee gives an orientation to new students (2017)

Sister Virginia Rodee and USD President James T. Harris: All Faith Service (2017)

Sister Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Walsh, RSCJ, reflects on her time at USD.

Sister Nancy Morris, RSCJ, president emerita of the San Diego College for Women was interviewed as part of an alumni history project.

Sister Pat Shaffer, RSCJ, was interviewed as part of an alumni history project.

Sister Sally Furay, RSCJ, was interviewed as part of an alumni history project.

Maureen King ’64 (BA) was interviewed as part of an alumni history project.

Sandra Chew Phillips ’68 (BA) was interviewed as part of an alumni history project.

Sister Virginia Rodee, RSCJ, reflects on her life as a Sister of the Sacred Heart (2013)

Mother Hill Service Award (2002) This video features a few rare glimpses of Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill, RSCJ on film.

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VARIOUS

San Diego College for Women Yearbooks

U Magazine (1985-91)

News Releases (1968-2004)

Religious of the Sacred Heart Postcard Collection

This script excerpted passages from letters between Bishop Charles Francis Buddy and Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill, and was performed by Old Globe actors during a President’s Dinner in January 1999.

Society of the Sacred Heart Website

USD Alumni/Alumnae of the Sacred Heart Website

The First 40 Years: A History of the University of San Diego, 1949-1989 (Amazon)

Fortress on the Hill: Founding the University of San Diego and the San Diego College for Women, 1942-1963 (Amazon)

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ARTICLES

Sister Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Walsh, RSCJ, was celebrated with a Mass and farewell reception in May 2017.

Sister Virginia Rodee, RSCJ, was featured as alumna of the year in the Winter 2016 issue of Our Lady of Peace Magazine.

“RSCJ Renew Sacred Vows” is a June 2016 USD News Center article.

The career and life of Sister Patricia Shaffer, RSCJ, is the focus of this page of the Society of the Sacred Heart’s website.

“Treasured Tradition” is a Summer 2014 USD Magazine article that celebrates Founders Chapel’s milestone birthday.

Sister Virginia Rodee, RSCJ, was featured in a Summer 2013 USD Magazine feature story.

The passing of Sister Helen Lorch, RSCJ was mourned in the Spring 2011 issue of USD Magazine. She more than 30 years on campus as an educator and director of women’s residence halls.

Sister Patricia Schaffer, RSCJ, graced the cover of the Fall 2007 issue of USD Magazine.

“So Happy Together,” was a story in the Fall 2002 USD Magazine about the merger of the separate men’s and women’s colleges on its 30th anniversary.

“Shedding the Habit,” was a story in the Fall 2001 USD Magazine about nuns working for victims of economic and political oppression.

The passing of Sister Anne Farraher Davis, RSCJ, was mourned in the Spring 2001 issue of USD Magazine.

The 200th anniversary of the Society of the Sacred Heart was noted in the Winter 2000 issue of USD Magazine.

Sister Patricia Schaffer’s work with the Founders Club was featured in the Spring 2000 issue of USD Magazine.

50 years of USD history was the subject of “Pieces of the Past,” published in the 50th anniversary issue of USD Magazine in Fall 1999.

Mother Rosalie Hill and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart were celebrated in the 50th anniversary issue of USD Magazine in Fall 1999.

Sister Helen McHugh, RSCJ, reflected on her time on campus for a story about favorite places on campus in the Fall 1997 USD Magazine.

Sister Irene Cullen, RSCJ, — then associate minister of university ministry and the catechist for students considering entering the Catholic faith —was the subject of a feature story in the Summer 1998 issue of USD Magazine.

Sister Maxine Kraemer, RSCJ, ’72 (MA) is featured in a story about her work for St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in the Spring 1998 USD Magazine.

Sister Sally Furay, RSCJ, was the subject of a feature story in the Summer 1996 issue of U Magazine on the occasion of her impending retirement.

The passing of Sister Frances Danz, RSCJ, was mourned in the Summer 1994 issue of U Magazine. She had been president of the College for Women and subsequently, a USD trustee.

Sister Sally Furay, RSCJ, then USD vice president and provost, was featured in the Winter 1993 U Magazine when she received the Mother Rosalie Hill Award.

Sister Alicia Sarre, RSCJ, was celebrated in the Spring 1992 U Magazine. She was called to the College for Women to be secretary to co-founder Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill, RSCJ, in 1952.

The passing of Sister Mariella Bremner, RSCJ, was mourned in the Winter 1991 U Magazine. Sr. Bremner was registrar for the College for Women and subsequent chair of the modern language department.

“Keeping the Spirit Alive” in the Winter 1989 U Magazine profiles Sr. Annette Schmeling, Sr. Helen Lorch and Sr. Betsy Walsh.

“A Fairy Tale Come True” was the title of a feature in the Fall 1989 issue of U Magazine recounting USD’s first 40 years.

“A Labor of Love” tells the story behind the story of the book, The First 40 Years. Fall 1989 U Magazine.

Sister Virginia McMonagle, RSCJ embarked on a new chapter, which was recounted in the Winter 1988 U Magazine.

Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill, RSCJ was celebrated in the Fall 1988 issue of U Magazine.

Sister Aimée Rossi, RSCJ, was paid tribute upon her passing in the Fall 1985 issue of U Magazine.

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INTERVIEWS

Sister Virginia Rodee has conducted tours of Founders Chapel for many years; here find a transcript of a 2016 tour with campus visitors.

Sister Annette Bourette provided an oral history in 1983. In it, she reflects on her time at the San Diego College for Women through the merger with the College for Men. Sr. Bourette primarily worked in the areas of admissions and financial aid.

Sister Sally Furay provided an oral history in 1983. In it, she talks about her memories of the San Diego College for Women through the merger with the College for Men. Sr. Furay was provost.

Sister Helen Lorch ’58 (BA), ’68 (MA) provided an oral history in 1989. In it, she shares her wide-ranging memories of her time at the San Diego College for Women and through the merger with the College for Men. Sr. Lorch was on the faculty at USD and worked as the director of women’s residence halls.

Sister Agnes Murphy provided an oral history in 1989. She was a long-time faculty member of the San Diego College for Women.

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